Why Daily Leagues Can Make You a Better Dynasty Player

Dan Meylor


Editor’s Note: This article is part of our new Daily Content section in DLF. Daily leagues are growing in the fantasy community and we’ll cover them throughout the regular season. Remember, we have our own special private game for opening week on FanDuel. You can also get a DLF Premium account free for year (or your current subscription extended for a year) just by signing up with FanDuel and making an initial deposit. For more information on that special offer, click here.

Many of you may think it a bit odd the premiere site on the web for dynasty coverage has started covering daily fantasy football. After all, trying to build a dynasty over multiple seasons is the complete opposite of setting a lineup on a Sunday morning in the hopes of cashing in quickly, only to start over the next week. What I’ve found over the last two seasons, however, is that dynasty and daily make a picture-perfect combination for any fantasy player – and playing daily can make even the best dynasty owner even better.

Many hard core dynasty owners may find it difficult to believe a game with such a short term vision could possibly help you build a dominant long term dynasty and I completely understand that perspective. In fact, I may have agreed with you just 24 months ago. But sitting here today, I firmly believe that becoming a daily player has helped me become a better dynasty player. Perhaps it could do the same for you in the following ways:

1.) Get Reacquainted with the Entire Player Pool

As dynasty owners, it’s incredibly easy to narrow our field of vision only to the players who are on our rosters. Because of this, it’s easy to overvalue the players on our own roster in trade talks and we very often close our eyes to the other talent around the league.

As a daily player, you’re forced on a weekly basis to look at the entire field of players and insert lesser known players into your lineup due to the salary cap that is used on most daily fantasy sites. The benefit to dynasty owners is that while searching high and low for the best bargains in a particular week, it’s very possible a daily player can find value other dynasty owners would have overlooked.

2.) Get Reacquainted with the Veteran Player Pool

This absolutely ties into what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but it’s so important it needs its own heading.

[inlinead]Tell me if one or more of the guys you play against in your league is this guy. You know, the guy who gets so enamored with young talent or future rookie draft picks that he routinely discards productive veteran players only to wallow in futility year after year. There’s one in every dynasty league so if you don’t believe you have one in yours, it’s probably you.

If you happen to be “that guy,” there is a cure – Daily fantasy football!

In daily, you simply can’t write off a player because of his age and the fact he may not be as productive a year or two down the road. You need the production now. Many dynasty owners could learn a very valuable lesson from this.

Everybody reading this should agre the ultimate goal as a fantasy owner is the same no matter how short or long the season is – to win the league! We should also agree that no matter the length, the most important fantasy season should be the one you’re in right now. So shouldn’t you be taking advantage of the players that are consistently putting up numbers right now?

Playing daily will quickly make you realize that players like Adrian Peterson and Roddy White are the ones who come through consistently and can take you to the Promised Land in daily. After playing for some time, you’ll also realize such players are critical to you doing the same in dynasty.

In daily fantasy football, you have to incorporate veteran talent into your lineup to be successful. The same is true in dynasty but far too many dynasty owners (and writers for that matter) ignore them altogether.

Playing daily will not only make you respect the value of veteran players in dynasty, it’ll cure you of being “that guy.”

3.) Gauging a Player’s Trade Value

Now that we’ve covered the owner who consistently overvalues youth, we should touch on another dynasty owner that can be exploited – the “what have you done for me lately” owner. Being a daily player can help you take advantage of this owner as well.

Throughout an NFL season, the trade value of each player in a dynasty league is very fluid. From week-to-week, it goes up and down depending on how a player performs, how a coach is using him at the time and injuries throughout the roster.

As you play daily more and more, you tend to memorize player values from week-to-week. After time, it’s easy to recognize a player whose value has become too high or too low. This is a very sneaky way to pinpoint potential trade targets in dynasty.

When a player’s value drops in daily, it typically because his production has dipped over the last handful of weeks. Such a drop in price most likely is an indication the player’s owner could be unhappy and willing to make a deal.

To be clear, I’m certainly not suggesting that when Eddie Lacy’s price on FanDuel dips to $7,300 and Frank Gore’s is at $7,500, you should try to trade Lacy for Gore in dynasty. I’m just pointing out that if you see Lacy’s price drop in daily, it means there’s most likely a disappointed dynasty owner in your league and now may be the perfect opportunity to make an offer.

4.) Sunday Morning Roster Decisions

This is perhaps where dynasty owners can gain the most by becoming a daily player.

No matter what type of league you’re trying to win, daily or dynasty, to be consistently successful you have to be a good short-term decision maker. The most critical decisions we all make as dynasty owners once the season starts is our starting lineup and like your mother always said, “Practice makes perfect.”

So, what better way to improve at making such decisions than to practice making those decisions more often?

The logic here is extremely simple. Any dynasty owner who gets in a routine of making tough lineup decisions when cash is on the line in a daily game will undoubtedly become a better decision maker when it comes to setting their lineup in dynasty.

On top of making you a better dynasty player, there are countless other reasons to get involved in daily fantasy football. For instance, it fills the void left at the end of the dynasty season.

Whether your dynasty season ends with you hoisting the championship trophy and collecting the envy and cash of every other owner in your dynasty league or you find yourself out of the championship hunt early on and looking towards next season, daily provides the perfect filler. When your season ends in week 16 (or earlier), daily leagues keep filling up until conference championship week in the NFL postseason. So when many fantasy owners have reached the off-season, there’s still a month of daily fantasy football to feed your craving.

To add to that, the daily fantasy sports industry has done a brilliant job of branding their game over the last few years. They constantly point out the best parts about playing daily, including…

  1. –  You can own any player at any time.
  2. –  When a player goes down with an injury, your season doesn’t go down with him because there’s always next week.
  3. –  The best part of the season is the draft. In daily, you get to draft every week.
  4. –  The potential to win hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars.

All of these things are true, but perhaps the most important reason to try daily is…

5.) Fun!

I’ll admit it. I was skeptical when I first signed up to play daily fantasy football. I wasn’t convinced that it was right for me, a guy who loves dynasty. It only took a few weeks to realize however, that daily is far too much fun for me not to be a part of and daily and dynasty are the perfect combination.

Playing dynasty is still my favorite way to play fantasy football and if you’re reading this, it’s probably yours too. But if you do what I did and start to play daily, you’ll not only be introduced to a fun, challenging way to play fantasy football, you also may become a better dynasty player.


dan meylor